Disney Cruise Line Signs a 10-year Preferred Berthing Agreement with the Port of Galveston

Disney Cruise Line made a long term commitment to Texas today. The Port of Galveston and Disney Cruise Line finalized a 10-year preferential berthing agreement with an option to renew for two additional five year periods. The newly inked deal is effective November 1, 2018 as it was back dated.

20181101 Galveston DCL Operating Agreement Term

The new agreement outlines plans for a shared cruise terminal that will accommodate a ship equal to or larger than the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Additionally, the Port of Galveston projects that over the first five years of the potential 20 year agreement, Disney will nearly double its sailings.

20181101 Galveston DCL Operating Agreement Mininum Yearly Homeports

Doing some quick math this new contract means Disney Cruise Line is committed to Galveston until 2028.

Back in December 2018, the Port of Galveston was working to secure a 5-year agreement with Disney Cruise Line. The port met in Mid-December to discuss the agreement.

According to the December 18th meeting, Disney Cruise Line’s contract with the port expired in November 2018 therefore, the new agreement was retroactive and backdated to November 1, 2018. Disney Cruise Line approached the Port of Galveston regarding a longer term agreement. The Port of Galveston wanted additional port calls from Disney and an increase to the current tariff. Disney Cruise Line agreed to increase calls from about 12 to 26 sailings and an increased tariff from $4.15 to 7.50 per passenger movement (embarkation/debarkation). Disney agreed to a minimum guarantee of $1.1 million wether or not a Disney ship visited the port.

20181101 Galveston DCL Operating Agreement Passenger Fee Calculation

The Port of Galveston long term hope is to lure a Disney Cruise Line ship to sail year round from Texas, but Disney was not ready to commit to a full year worth of sailings. However, the board hinted at DCL’s potential to go year round in about 5 years (approximately 2023/24). During the meeting, the board members mentioned that the contract gives Disney Cruise Line Terminal 2 on Saturday & Sundays with some exceptions based on other berthing agreements already in place with other cruise lines.

The Port of Galveston released the following statement on the agreement.

“September 22, 2012 marked the first time ever that a Disney Cruise Line ship set sail from the State of Texas with the maiden voyage of Disney Wonder. The Port has been seasonal homeport to both Disney Wonder and Disney Magic ever since. We are thrilled to be able to continue to give Texas and the southwest region of the United States the opportunity to experience Disney cruise vacations from their own backyard,” said Port of Galveston CEO/Port Director, Rodger Rees. “We are proud to be one of the few selected homeports for Disney Cruise Line.”

Captain Mickey Tips His Hat to Galveston

Disney Cruise Line released their own statement on the new 10-year preferred berthing agreement with the Port of Galveston.

“Our guests have loved visiting Galveston and setting sail from this historic port to the western Caribbean, Key West and the Bahamas,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Signature Experiences and Disney Cruise Line. “As we plan to expand our fleet and introduce new experiences and entertainment aboard our ships, we couldn’t be more excited to extend our commitment with the Port of Galveston.”

What do you think about Disney Cruise Line’s long term commitment to Galveston?

9 Replies to “Disney Cruise Line Signs a 10-year Preferred Berthing Agreement with the Port of Galveston”

  1. Bob Laurent

    Our family enjoys sailings out of Port Canaveral because we combine a cruise with a few days at WDW. But lately flight prices to Orlando during the summer and holidays have been $500+ pp. As a Texas resident (in DFW), more sailings out of Galveston, plus saving airfare (and WDW ticket costs), is great. We spend a week in Galveston almost every year so it’s a win-win for us!

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      It will. Keep in mind, DCL is already booking into 2020. New ships start coming online a year later. I hope once I see a copy of the agreement, I can paint a clearer picture.

  2. John

    Other than PC…isn’t the POG one of the only ports in the US that will support LNG in the very near future? Is it not a stretch to think Disney may place one of the new ships there….after all there are 3 of them coming on line.

  3. Rick Dougherty

    It would be nice if they added more cruises while the kids are out of school here in Texas. The schools here really disapprove of taking kids out of school for family trips which limits when you can go.

  4. Diane

    I was so excited when Disney began to sail out of Galveston, but as a teacher, I can’t go on any of the sailings. They are all during expensive high season and/or during school session. Sure hope they add more sailings with a wider date selection.

    1. John

      Based on the what I am hearing from my sources when the new Terminal 3 opens for RCCL Disney will move To Sundays and a move to summer departures seems inevitable.

  5. John

    If I heard right…From what was stated in the meeting in December…Disney plans to increase sailings from 12 to 26 a year with the possibility of moving a ship to Galveston year round thereafter.


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